Saturday, June 15, 2013

Human History: More complicated TPT

Interesting article

The ancient Maya started building their storied cities amid a construction boom in Central America as early as 1000 B.C., archaeologists reported Thursday.


"The exciting thing about this (study) is not about a 'cool' find as much as about supplying a realistic, practical, complicated, story on the origins of things Maya," says archaeologist Lisa Lucero of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, who was not part of the study team. "Human history is complicated and based on continual feedback from neighbors, foreign or no."

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Burden of Dementia in China: increasing faster than is generally assumed.

 A news report in New Scientist:

FTA: Cases of all kinds of age-related dementia in the country [China] rose from 3.7 million in 1990 to 9.2 million in 2010. This is the finding of the first comprehensive analysis of Chinese epidemiological research, made possible by the recent digitisation of Chinese-language research papers. Previous estimates, based on English-language papers, seem to have under-reported the number of cases by half.

While they mention several reasons that contribute to this trend, here is an interesting observation not in the Lancet article:

"Family planning policy means China is becoming an ageing country much faster than other middle-income countries such as India,"says co-author Wei Wang of Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia.

From the original Lancet Article

"Our analysis suggests that previous estimates of dementia burden, based on smaller datasets, might have underestimated the burden of dementia in China. The burden of dementia seems to be increasing faster than is generally assumed by the international health community. "

Curiously the solution they propose is exactly what they identify as one cause of the problem!

Rapid and effective government responses are needed to tackle dementia in low-income and middle-income countries."

Of course the weasel words 'rapid and effective' do not belong in the same sentence with 
'government response'.  

Although china's one-child policy has seemed to be one such example of a rapid and effective (for its intended but also unintended consequences) government action.  Just like Obama's policies have also been rapid and effective at putting more people on unemployment,  disability and food stamps.